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Article
Publication date: 28 May 2021

Loai Ali Zeenalabden Ali Alsaid

This study aims to explore the complex, multi-level institutional dynamics of smart city reforms and projects and their potential sustainability pressures on the…

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to explore the complex, multi-level institutional dynamics of smart city reforms and projects and their potential sustainability pressures on the implementation of a management accounting system in an Egyptian state-owned enterprise (SOE), which has a politically sensitive institutional character.

Design/methodology/approach

This study adds to institutional management accounting research using a multi-level perspective of institutional dynamics in the smart city context. Data were collected from an interpretive case study of an Egyptian SOE that was under socio-political sustainability pressures to implement a smart electricity network project in New Minya city.

Findings

Smart city projects have formed social and political sustainability pressures, which introduced the enterprise resource planning (ERP) network as a new management accounting system. A new (complex and multi-level) management accounting system was invented to reinvent the sustainable city as an “accounting city” (which appeared rhetorically as a “smart city”). “Smart” being the visibility and measurability of the sustainability performance of the collective body, which calls the city and its connectivity to different institutional levels brought out in a city network project for the ERP-enabled electricity distribution.

Research limitations/implications

This study examines a single case study from a single smart city and identifies the accounting community’s need for multiple and comparative case studies to further analyse the potential impact of smart city reforms and projects on the sustainable implementation of management accounting systems.

Practical implications

City policymakers and managers may benefit from the practical findings of this interpretive field-based case study in planning, implementing and monitoring smart city projects and objectives.

Social implications

Individual and collective well-being may be enhanced through new management accounting forms of multi-level local governance and increased political, field and organisational sustainability.

Originality/value

This study provides important insights into the sustainability dynamics of management accounting in achieving smart city reforms. The achievement of sustainability management accounting systems has connected to multiple ERP roles at different institutional levels, which resulted in accommodating the socio-political objectives of smart city projects.

Details

Sustainability Accounting, Management and Policy Journal, vol. 13 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-8021

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 17 December 2019

Massimo Contrafatto, John Ferguson, David Power, Lorna Stevenson and David Collison

The purpose of this paper is to provide a theoretically informed analysis of a struggle for power over the regulation of corporate social responsibility (CSR) and social…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to provide a theoretically informed analysis of a struggle for power over the regulation of corporate social responsibility (CSR) and social and environmental accounting and reporting (SEAR) within the European Union.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper combines insights from institutional theory (Lawrence and Buchanan, 2017) with Vaara et al.’s (2006) and Vaara and Tienar’s (2008) discursive strategies approach in order to interrogate the dynamics of the institutional “arena” that emerged in 2001, following the European Commission’s publication of a Green Paper (GP) on CSR policy and reporting. Drawing on multiple sources of data (including newspaper coverage, semi-structured interviews and written submissions by companies and NGOs), the authors analyse the institutional political strategies employed by companies and NGOs – two of the key stakeholder groupings who sought to influence the dynamics and outcome of the European initiative.

Findings

The results show that the 2001 GP was a “triggering event” (Hoffman, 1999) that led to the formation of the institutional arena that centred on whether CSR policy and reporting should be voluntary or mandatory. The findings highlight how two separate, but related forms of power (systemic and episodic power) were exercised much more effectively by companies compared to NGOs. The analysis of the power initiatives and discursive strategies deployed in the arena provides a theoretically informed understanding of the ways in which companies acted in concert to reach their objective of maintaining CSR and SEAR as a voluntary activity.

Originality/value

The theoretical framework outlined in the paper highlights how the analysis of CSR and SEAR regulation can be enriched by examining the deployment of episodic and systemic power by relevant actors.

Details

Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, vol. 33 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3574

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 March 2004

Rajesh Kumar and Verner Worm

This paper develops the argument for analyzing negotiations from an institutional perspective. A major theme of the argument being advanced in this paper is that the…

4737

Abstract

This paper develops the argument for analyzing negotiations from an institutional perspective. A major theme of the argument being advanced in this paper is that the institutional perspective provides a more comprehensive understanding of the negotiation process in its entirety. The negotiation process can be broken down into three distinct components, namely (a) the pre‐negotiation phase; (b) the negotiating phase; and (c) the post negotiation evaluation. Each of these phases is critically influenced by a specific component or components of the institutional environment. Scott's distinction between the regulative, the normative, and the cognitive dimension of the institutional environment is drawn upon to illustrate the usefulness of this perspective. The framework is applied to assess the similarities and differences between Indian and Chinese institutional environments and their implications for negotiating processes in the countries discussed. Choosing India and China to illustrate the utility of this framework is justified by the fact that India and China are both in the process of transforming their economies, and although confronted with similar challenges, they have dealt with them in very different ways. This comparison is thus useful, not only for illustrating the value of the institutional perspective, but also for understanding the dynamics of the negotiation process in these countries.

Details

International Journal of Conflict Management, vol. 15 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1044-4068

Keywords

Open Access
Article
Publication date: 24 April 2020

Tiina Tuominen, Bo Edvardsson and Javier Reynoso

This study aims to understand and explain how institutional change occurs at the level of value co-creation practices in service ecosystems. Despite the centrality of…

1869

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to understand and explain how institutional change occurs at the level of value co-creation practices in service ecosystems. Despite the centrality of collective practices to the service ecosystems perspective, theoretically grounded explanations of how practices change and become institutionalized remain underdeveloped. Applying the theory of routine dynamics, this paper addresses two questions as follows: what does the institutional change mean at the level of value co-creation practices and what processes underlie these changes?

Design/methodology/approach

The study develops a conceptual framework that characterizes value co-creation practices as routines involving three aspects, namely, ostensive, performative and artifactual. As a key element in institutional change, the interplay between these informs an account of institutional change processes in service ecosystems.

Findings

The proposed conceptual framework specifies the conditions for institutional change in terms of value co-creation routines. First, any such change is seen to be grounded in alignment between changing institutional rules and the ostensive, performative and artifactual aspects of routines. Second, this alignment is seen to emerge through a dialectics of planned and practice-based activities during institutional change. An empirical research agenda is proposed for the analysis of institutional change processes in different service ecosystems.

Originality/value

This conceptual framework extends existing accounts of how service ecosystems change through the contributions of multiple actors at the level of value co-creation practices.

Book part
Publication date: 26 November 2020

Christopher W. J. Steele and Timothy R. Hannigan

Talk of “macrofoundations” helps foreground the constitutive and contextualizing powers of institutions – dynamics that are inadvertently obscured by the imagery of…

Abstract

Talk of “macrofoundations” helps foreground the constitutive and contextualizing powers of institutions – dynamics that are inadvertently obscured by the imagery of microfoundations. Highlighting these aspects of institutions in turn opens intriguing lines of inquiry into institutional reproduction and change, lived experience of institutions, and tectonic shifts in institutional configurations. However, there is a twist: taking these themes seriously ultimately challenges any naïve division of micro and macro, and undermines the claim of either to a genuinely foundational role in social analysis. The authors propose an alternative “optometric” imagery – positioning the micro and the macro as arrays of associated lenses, which bring certain things into focus at the cost of others. The authors argue that this imagery should not only encourage analytic reflexivity (“a more optometric institutionalism”) but also draw attention to the use of such lenses in everyday life, as an underexplored but critical phenomenon for institutional theory and research (“an institutionalist optometry”).

Details

Macrofoundations: Exploring the Institutionally Situated Nature of Activity
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-83909-160-5

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 8 May 2017

Sujeewa Damayanthi Doluwarawaththa Gamage and Tharusha Gooneratne

The purpose of this paper is to explore how management controls in an organization take shape amidst the tensions between external institutional forces and the internal…

2162

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore how management controls in an organization take shape amidst the tensions between external institutional forces and the internal dynamics arising from the different powers and interests of managers as well as from intra-organizational norms, rules and taken-for-granted assumptions.

Design/methodology/approach

Adopting an interpretivist stance, this study employs the embedded (nested) case study approach drawing evidence from an apparel group which consists of a head office and four clusters. Theoretically, the paper is informed by institutional theory, and particularly draws on concepts such as organizational field, ceremonials, rational myths, isomorphism, institutional logics and loose coupling. It is further complemented by strategic responses of Oliver (1991), as well as materials and discursive elements in elaborating how external pressures influence control practices of an organization, and how internal actors strategically respond to those pressures in balancing external legitimacy and internal efficiency requirements.

Findings

The field-study findings reveal that management controls of the case-study organization have taken shape amidst external pressures, specifically from customers and internal dynamics such as interests of key actors, who strategically respond to external pressures and head -office specifications.

Research limitations/implications

Situating management controls within external pressures and internal dynamics, the findings of this study have implications for research on organizational heterogeneity, and it offers learning points for managers in formulating management controls by balancing conflicting internal and external pressures.

Practical implications

In reality, practicing managers are faced with conflicting logics arising from external pressures and internal dynamics stemming from different power- and interest-holding managers as well as intra-organizational norms, rules and taken-for-granted assumptions in their everyday encounters in organizations. This study provides some pointers for such practicing managers in designing and implementing management control systems by effectively balancing these opposing influences and formulating systems suited to the circumstances of a particular organization.

Originality/value

Moving beyond the widely held narrow conceptualization of institutional theory akin to (external) isomorphism and organizational conformity, this paper brings out organizational heterogeneity through the active agency of actors in terms of their power, interest and proclivities as well as their use of organizational norms and rules in responding to such external institutions.

Article
Publication date: 1 September 2004

Jesse F. Dillard, John T. Rigsby and Carrie Goodman

Institutional theory is becoming one of the dominant theoretical perspectives in organization theory and is increasingly being applied in accounting research to study the…

9229

Abstract

Institutional theory is becoming one of the dominant theoretical perspectives in organization theory and is increasingly being applied in accounting research to study the practice of accounting in organizations. However, most institutional theory research has adequately theorized neither the institutionalization process through which change takes place nor the socio‐political context of the institutional formations. We propose a social theory based framework for grounding and expanding institutional theory to more fully articulate institutionalization processes. Specifically, we incorporate institutional theory and structuration theory and draw on the work of Max Weber in developing a framework of the context and the processes associated with creating, adopting and discarding institutional practices. We propose that the expanded framework depicts the socio‐economic and political context better and more directly addresses the dynamics of enacting, embedding and changing organizational features and processes. Expanding the focus of the institutional theory based accounting research can facilitate a more comprehensive representation of accounting as the object of institutional practices as well as provide a better articulation of the role of accounting in the institutionalization process.

Details

Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, vol. 17 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3574

Keywords

Book part
Publication date: 15 December 2016

Tammar B. Zilber

Joining recent calls to focus our attention on how institutional logics work on the ground, I offer a critique of current studies of institutional logics that often offer…

Abstract

Joining recent calls to focus our attention on how institutional logics work on the ground, I offer a critique of current studies of institutional logics that often offer a macro and reified depictions thereof. I suggest that to fully appreciate how institutions matter, we need to complement these studies with a research program that is based on a constructivist ontology, ethnographic methods of inquiry, and use of theories of action. I exemplify this emerging research agenda, and discuss its broader analytical and empirical implications.

Details

How Institutions Matter!
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78635-429-7

Keywords

Book part
Publication date: 5 April 2019

Guillermo Casasnovas and Marc Ventresca

Recent research develops theory and evidence to understand how organizations come to be seen as “actors” with specified features and properties, a core concern for…

Abstract

Recent research develops theory and evidence to understand how organizations come to be seen as “actors” with specified features and properties, a core concern for phenomenological institutionalism. The authors use evidence from changes in research designs in the organizational study of institutional logics as an empirical strategy to add fresh evidence to the debates about the institutional construction of organizations as actors. The case is the research literature on the institutional logics perspective, a literature in which organizational and institutional theorists grapple with long-time social theory questions about nature and context of action and more contemporary debates about the dynamics of social orders. With rapid growth since the early 1990s, this research program has elaborated and proliferated in ways meant to advance the study of societal orders, frames, and practices in diverse inter- and intra-organizational contexts. The study identifies two substantive trends over the observation period: A shift in research design from field-level studies to organization-specific contexts, where conflicts are prominent in the organization, and a shift in the conception of logic transitions, originally from one dominant logic to another, then more attention to co-existence or blending of logics. Based on this evidence, the authors identify a typology of four available research genres that mark a changed conception of organizations as actors. The case of institutional logics makes visible the link between research designs and research outcomes, and it provides new evidence for the institutional processes that construct organizational actorhood.

Details

Agents, Actors, Actorhood: Institutional Perspectives on the Nature of Agency, Action, and Authority
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78756-081-9

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 31 January 2022

Rabeh Morrar and Sofiane Baba

This paper focuses on social innovation dynamics in extreme contexts where institutional volatility is deeply rooted and enduring. In other words, the authors focus their…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper focuses on social innovation dynamics in extreme contexts where institutional volatility is deeply rooted and enduring. In other words, the authors focus their discussion on the challenges that social innovators are facing in their endeavor of solving wicked social problems within an extreme institutional environment. This research is guided by the following question: How does an extreme institutional environment influence social innovation processes?

Design/methodology/approach

This qualitative research builds on the unique case of the Palestinian non-governmental organization (NGO) sector, a rarely studied context in organizational studies. The authors combine archival sources with 24 semi-structured interviews with Palestinian NGOs.

Findings

The authors theorize three barriers that hinder social innovation in such contexts: institutional trap, effectiveness trap and sustainability trap. The authors also theorize five mechanisms through which these barriers influence each other dynamically: mingling, surviving, undermining, binding and reinforcing. Taken together, these barriers and mechanisms shed light on social innovation processes taking place within extreme institutional environments.

Research limitations/implications

The main limitation of this study is the methodological design, based on an extreme single case-study which, on a bunch of features, is quite unique in the world. The authors argue that the results are all the same transferable to other relatively similar contexts.

Practical implications

By theorizing the institutional barriers to social innovation in an extreme institutional context, the research thus sheds light on how social innovation could be sustained and stimulated in Palestine and other contexts that face similar institutional challenges.

Social implications

From an engaged scholarship perspective, studying Palestine cannot be more relevant than today considering the turmoil in which Palestinians are. The research thus provides a deeper understanding of organizational and institutional dynamics with crucial social repercussions.

Originality/value

The social innovation literature has overemphasized success stories to the detriment of the struggles that hinder social innovations in extreme institutional environments. By focusing on the barriers that social innovators experience in these contexts, the authors provide novel empirical insight. Furthermore, this study enriches the understanding of the institutional dynamics of social innovations by proposing a process model that elucidates how an extreme institutional context can influence social innovations.

Details

Management Decision, vol. 60 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0025-1747

Keywords

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